Bacterial, Viral, and Fungal Insecticides

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Science  11 Feb 1983:
Vol. 219, Issue 4585, pp. 715-721
DOI: 10.1126/science.219.4585.715


Microorganisms that are pathogenic to insects provide a wealth of biological material that can be exploited by humans to control insect pests. Innovative applications of a few such entomopathogens are found throughout the world, but widespread commercial production of microbial insecticides awaits further studies of the biology, ecology, and pathogenicity of the agents. Genetic engineering techniques may be used to increase the virulence of these microorganisms, as well as to make them more tolerant of physical and chemical conditions and perhaps to broaden their host ranges. The use of microbial insecticides could decrease our dependence on chemical pesticides.